THE TRUE MEANING OF PH BALANCE
Lately there have been a lot of questions about the body’s pH. People have asked how alkaline food and water affect the human body, and many vendors have been selling pH test strips to measure the pH of urine or saliva. However, there are problems with measuring the body’s pH in this manner. Many other factors can affect the pH of urine or saliva. In fact, even carbon dioxide can affect the test results, and in truth, the blood’s pH will never actually change very much. Also, if a urine sample actually reflected the pH of the blood, it would probably show that the subject should not be alive.
The human body can only survive within a very narrow pH range, between 7.35 and 7.45. Any amount higher or lower than this is usually considered very dangerous or deadly. Although we recommend water with a pH of 10.0, we certainly do not recommend that you increase your blood’s pH to that level. This may come as a confusing topic, especially since alkaline companies are always advertising a higher pH. When we say that you should be more alkaline, we are mostly referring to the water you drink. Although your blood’s pH may increase slightly and safely due to the effects of alkaline water, it is clear that there is only a limit to which a pH increase would be healthy.
Now you may be asking, “Then why drink alkaline water? It doesn’t actually affect my pH.” It is true that your body is mostly capable of maintaining your blood’s pH at a survivable level. However, since the body must have a very precise range, it may use less favorable methods to maintain that pH. For instance, if an individual was deficient in certain minerals or consumed too many acidic foods, their body may combat the excess acid (in order to save his life) by obtaining calcium, an alkaline mineral, from the bones. As you can imagine, this process is unhealthy and can be a factor in osteoporosis and other types of bone loss. Other effects of acid include kidney stones, gout, arthritis, and muscle soreness. Alkaline water and alkaline supplements work to add bicarbonates to the blood, assisting the body in maintaining the desired pH. Bicarbonate is a mechanism used by our kidneys to maintain the proper pH. Medical research shows that bicarbonate levels greatly reduce as we get older, which is why we have greater occurrence of degenerative disease after age 45.
Now the question is, “What are bicarbonates, how are they natural, and what do they do for me?” Alkaline water facilitates the creation of bicarbonate in the blood, and some alkaline supplements can introduce bicarbonate directly into the body via enteric coated pills. The body creates bicarbonate constantly, as the stomach produces acid. When hydrochloric acid is neutralized, either slowly by food or more effectively by alkaline water, the stomach produces more acid to break down the food in the stomach. As a by-product, bicarbonate is formed and is added to the bloodstream.
A bicarbonate maintains the proper pH for blood and greatly improves pH balance as opposed to simply a pH increase. If you add bicarbonate to acidic water, it raises the pH of the water to a survivable level, and if you add bicarbonate to alkaline water, it lowers the pH of the water to a survivable level. It is even possible to test this at home, since baking soda is a type of bicarbonate that is found in the human body (sodium bicarbonate). Bicarbonates safely neutralize acids that build up in the body, which is why they are such an important factor in bodily health.